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The Cowboy and Vampire Dearest Ivie (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15.5)

I don’t know why you went and did that. I didn’t agree to this arrangement, precisely. I said I would th—

He had not anticipated that his evening would involve following Sally Weatherby to The Swan With No Neck, a somewhat unsavory pub halfway across town. It was there that he had finally found Robert Tallywhite, who appeared to be amusing himself by tossing darts at a tricorn hat pinned rather gruesomely to a wall.George had delivered his message, the contents of which had not seemed to surprise Tallywhite in the least, but when he had attempted to take his leave, he had been compelled to stay for a pint of ale. And by compelled he actually meant compelled, as in shoved into a chair by two exceedingly large men, one of whom sported the most vivid black eye George had ever seen.

Wild Reckless (Harper Boys #1)

Such a bruise indicated a remarkable tolerance for pain, and George feared that this might correspond with a remarkable ability to deliver pain. So when old Violet Eye told him to sit down and drink up, George did as he was told.He then spent the next two hours having a breathtakingly convoluted and inane conversation with Tallywhite and his henchmen. (Sally had disappeared immediately upon delivering him to the unfortunate neckless Swan.) They discussed the weather and the rules of cricket and relative merits of Trinity College versus Trinity Hall at Cambridge. They had then moved on to the health benefits of salt water, the difficulty of obtaining proper ice in summer, and whether the high cost of pineapples would affect the popularity of oranges and lemons.By one in the morning, George suspected that Robert Tallywhite was not entirely sane, and by two he was certain of it. At three, he finally managed to take his leave, but not before accidentally taking an elbow to the ribs from one of Tallywhite’s large friends. There was also a scrape on his left cheekbone, the provenance of which George could not quite recall.

Vespers Rising ( The 39 Clues #11)

Worst of all, he thought as he trudged up the stairs at Manston House, he had abandoned Billie. He knew this night had been important to her. Hell, it had been important to him. God only knew what she thought of his behavior.He stumbled in surprise as he entered his room. Billie was standing dead center in her dressing gown.

It was only loosely belted, and he could see the fine peach silk of her nightdress peeking out from underneath. It looked very thin, almost sheer. A man could run his hands over such silk and feel the heat of skin burning through. A man might think he had the right to do so, with her standing a mere six feet from his bed.

What are you doing here? he demanded.Then you won’t have to, Lady Manston declared, and it was only then that Billie realized just how deftly she’d been manipulated.

That had been two days earlier. Two days and five fittings. Six, counting this one.Billie, hold your breath for a moment, Lady Manston called out.

Deviant (Blood & Roses #1)

Billie squinted over at her. What? It was bloody difficult to focus on anything other than the two seamstresses currently yanking her about. She’d heard that most dressmakers faked their French accents so as to seem more sophisticated, but these two seemed to be genuine. Billie couldn’t understand a word they were saying.She doesn’t speak French, Lady Manston said to Crossy. I’m not sure what her mother was thinking. She glanced back up at Billie. Your breath, darling. They need to tighten your corset.

Billie looked at Crossy’s two assistants, waiting patiently behind her, corset laces in hand. It requires two people?It’s a very good corset, Lady Manston said.

Ze best, Crossy confirmed.No, in, Lady Manston directed. Breathe in.

Billie obeyed, sucking in her stomach so that the two seamstresses could do some sort of choreographed crossways yank that resulted in Billie’s spine curving in an entirely new manner. Her hips jutted forward, and her head seemed remarkably far back on her neck. She wasn’t quite certain how she was meant to walk like this.This isn’t terribly comfortable, she called out.

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